The role of environmental control and spatial structuring may vary depending on dispersal mode within a metacommunity in stream systems. However, as a result of high seasonal variation in environment conditions and phenological features, there might be considerable seasonal changes in the relative importance of structuring factors. The objective of this study was (i) to determine the relative role of structuring factors for aquatic macroinvertebrates with different dispersal mode groups which have seasonal variation in their dispersal capacity and (ii) to disentangle seasonal changes in metacommunity structuring. We sampled 50 stream sites of the Middle Danube Basin (Hungary) in spring and summer. We compared Distance–Decay Relationships between communities of different dispersal groups and distance measures, and then we used variation partitioning analysis and Moran’s eigenvector maps based on overland and watercourse distances to reveal structuring processes in both seasons. We found that metacommunities of all dispersal groups were influenced in both seasons mainly by environmental factors with additional impacts of the spatial components. Our findings suggest that metacommunities of taxa with temporally stable dispersal capacity have seasonally stable structuring processes, while the relative importance of structuring factors can vary seasonally in groups with seasonally changing dispersal capacity.
- Active and passive dispersals
- Community structure
- Overland and watercourse distances
- Stream ecosystems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science